Social Media for Authors – Part 1

I am taking part in the Ultimate Blog Challenge and posting alternately between my blogs, you can read all about it at my other blog on this post: Like a Challenge? Join me on the Ultimate Blog Challenge this January!

So for Day 2 I am going to go into some helpful tips for using social media if you’re an author, and I will split this into two parts because there is lots to cover.  At this stage I was hoping to have already launched my eCourse aimed at marketing for authors which will include a section on social media, but I’m a little behind, but be assured that as soon as it’s complete I will come and update this post so you can go straight there.

Social Media for Authors - Part 1What social media networks should authors use?

This is a good question, and it has an easy answer… whatever you feel comfortable with using. There is really no point trying to promote your work on a social media network that you’re not comfortable or happy using. Rule No. 1 – go with what you know!

Here’s a list of networks I think benefit authors (in no particular order):

Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Google+
LinkedIn

I have profiles on all of these networks, although I don’t have a book to promote, but if I am totally honest I am only really comfortable with using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Google+ has always proved difficult for me to get in to, and I really really want to, I just don’t seem to find it ‘Jo friendly’.  Goodreads is probably one of the very best social media networks you can use as an author, but I know that I have a lot to learn on here and it takes time to work out how to use it to your advantage.

My advice would be to check them out and see how you get on.  Go ahead and set-up profiles on all the networks, and test the water, see where you are most rewarded for the time you put in.

How do I gain followers/fans on social media?

This is a question I get a lot… and I always answer it in the same way.  You need to interact with people and you need to be interested in what others are saying.  Here are some ideas to get your following started:

  • Blogs – if you don’t have a blog, then you should have one!  You need to update it regularly and share your blog far and wide.  The way you can do this is by visiting other author blogs, or reader blogs, or just blogs you maybe interested in.  Usually when you comment on a blog there will be a field to enter your own website/blog address, that means if someone finds your comment interesting they will more than likely come and visit your blog.  On some blogs (like both of mine) there is a plugin called CommentLuv which if selected will include a link to your last blog post within the comment you have left.  Again, if you make your blog titles inviting enough, people will visit them! (There will be a whole section on websites/blogs in my eCourse).
  • Email marketing – you need a blog or website for this tip, so you can see they are pretty important.  Sign-up to an email marketing provider such as Aweber or Mailchimp and create a little box on your blog for people to sign up to your updates.  Offering an incentive is always a good idea, so maybe an advance preview of your latest book, or something exclusive to subscribers.  By building a list of subscribers you will be able to let them know about your social media profiles at the end of each email you send out.
  • Content is key – you want people to read your books, you want people to come back time and again.  You need to produce quality content, whether that’s on your blog, to your email subscribers or your social media networks.  If you share and produce great content you won’t go wrong!
  • Friends/Family – this is usually the first thing authors should do, ensure all your friends and family know of your social media profiles and ask them to share with their friends/family.

In part two I will look into the social media networks in more detail which should hopefully help you choose which networks will work best for you.  Just as a side note, the advice here is not just for authors, it can work for anyone that wants to get going on social media and gain more of a following.

If you have any social media tips that have worked for you, please leave me a comment below.

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